Self-employment is one career goal but there may be better methods of achieving your career objectives. A career plan is necessary even for the self-employed.
If you think that being self-employed means having less structure and more free time then self-employment is probably not for you. Self-employment means being self-motivated and making things happen.
Achievers among the self-employed are no different to achievers in other career paths. They pursue their career goals relentlessly, but they maintain a level of flexibility as they are aware that changing conditions mean that the career plan has to evolve as well. Even the best career paths need to have a plan “b” to fall back on.
Being able to prioritise and concentrate on the career in hand is an important aptitude particularly when you are just starting out as a self-employed person. Making things happen in your career does not come out of a box of magic tricks; it comes out of determination and focus.
Having people skills is important in life – perhaps even more so to the self-employed. The most successful career achievers have an empathy with people; they foster relationships. This is important not least because bad news travels fast and a first hand recommendation is better that any advertisement.
Self-employment can be an attractive career option especially when you have been made redundant. There are many advantages to being self-employed but there is also a downside and if you are not a natural entrepreneur then the risks of self-employment can be high. The plus side is that, if you are successful, you can earn a great deal more than is possible by working for someone else and you do get to make your own career decisions – for which you have to take full responsibility.
The benefits of self-employment
- It can be better rewarded financially
- A passion that overrides anything else
- You’re in control
Disadvantages of self-employment
- It can be lonely being the boss
- The hours can be very long
- It can be highly stressful taking on the responsibility – there’s no-one else to blame when things go wrong
- Not every venture is profitable, the reward is not always commensurate with the effort.
To be truly successful in self-employment you need a clear vision of what you hope to achieve in your career. Self-employment as a career choice can and does take over your life. This should not be an encumbrance, but a liberating force. To be self-employed can be an obsession and everything else takes second place. Make sure your family understand what you want to achieve in your career and that you have their backing, otherwise you could put the two on a collision course.
The drive and passion that you put into your career may never be equalled in anything else that you do. This level of passion and commitment leads successful entrepreneurs to realise that self-employment changes their lives irrevocably.
Embarking on the career path of self-employment without research into the consequences is a very risky undertaking. So before you start your career and business plan make sure that your character rises to the challenge.